For rising country star, Shari Rowe music is all she’s ever known. Growing up performing in talent shows and leading worship, Rowe was always destined to be an entertainer. Now, living the dream Rowe is fresh off the release of her timely new single “Long Hugs”, a song that longs for the days of physical and emotional closeness.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with Shari about her upbringing, why she wanted to pursue music and her brand new single!
Worlds Of Country: So who would you describe as your biggest musical influences?
Shari: Well, I grew up listening to the classics my dad loved Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline and Wylan and Charley Pride, and so I tend to lean towards more of a traditional sound, I think, because of that influence. But I think I grew up in a musical family, so we were always harmonizing and singing together. And I actually toured for a while with my sister and sister in law. And so harmony is a big deal to me. So little big town, of course. And then I had a brother who listened to classic rock, so the harmonies from the Eagles and stuff like that. So everything kind of has a little bit of an edge to it, I think, just from being in this part of the country to out in the West. So I think all those things have tied in.
Shari: I’m a big fan of Miranda Lambert too, though, so I’m trying to keep a classical sound these days.
Worlds Of Country: What’s that been like trying to maintain a classical sound as radio moves more poppy?
Shari: It’s funny, it’s interesting, I think it can be somewhat polarizing when you bring up the topic, especially in radio, but I think for the most part, there’s an audience for everything. And so I have found I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the pop influence in country music and I love pop phrasing in songwriting. And it’s not like I’ve stayed away from that. I love it. But as far as instrumentation goes and just I think because of who I am, I always sort of end up landing in a more traditional sound. But I think it’s been embraced because I think I have a strong fan base of people who long for kind of what they would probably say the days of quote unquote real country music.
Worlds Of Country: Yeah, for sure. People who want to go back to those days for sure.
Shari: Yeah, and like, I know that’s why I said, as they would say, because I think music is I mean, it’s all relative. Music is music. And I love different ways of expression. And I I love going with the flow and everything as the genre chain grows. And I think I’ve been able to reach a lot more fans because of the pop influence.
Worlds Of Country: So when did you know that music was the path that you wanted to take?
Shari: I don’t think there’s a time when I didn’t. Looking back, even as a little kid we were always putting on talent shows and competing against one another, and I’ve always been encouraged to follow that dream.
And gosh, even in school, I was always in choir and I remember singing my first solo and hearing encouragement from teachers and choir directors and then joining singing competitions as a teenager.
And then ultimately, I married my husband as a bass player. So we both have been able to tour together. And I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to do this.
Worlds Of Country: When did you realize that it was something you could seriously do, and what was your first step towards making it a reality at that point?
Shari: That’s a great question, this thing called music takes a lot of work and you hear way more no’s before you hear any yeses, it’s funny. One of the first times that I sang for a very large crowd was actually at church with my sister and sister in law.
And up until then, I really it was just something that I did and I had never really thought about taking action steps to make it a relaity. It was almost a given. It was woven into our DNA. We made music, we sang. And it’s just always part of day to day.
We put a song together to sing at church. And that moment was very interesting because when I have the opportunity, I lead worship when I’m not on the road. Of course, all of this is context of pre covid days, but when I’m not touring, I have opportunities to lead worship at my church. And there is such a difference between entertaining on a stage at a country concert versus being in an atmosphere of worship. But that first experience really kind of turned on the light bulb for me in regard to the relationship that I had with the people who were listening and how that even if it’s only for one song, it’s three minutes, you have a kinship with people and it’s something that I love instantly. I was like, this can share my heart. I can make people in that sense of worship. We can really take people somewhere and make an experience together. So I think that’s when I knew it.
Worlds Of Country: Do you feel your time leading worship helped grow your confidence in order to be a musician?
Shari: Absolutely, I think leading worship such a it’s such an experience that for me carries a lot of weight and responsibility, it’s being a performer. There’s that line drawn. I’m not entertaining. This is this is as raw as it gets. And I’m not looking for people to look at me. I’m pointing them to someone else. But my genuine connection with people definitely has grown from leading worship in the church and from my faith itself, having a genuine care and compassion that goes beyond entertainment. So even when I’m doing country shows now, it’s always loved getting to know people and hearing their stories and having them hear the stories behind why I wrote a song. And I think that level of relief has helped me become a better entertainer.
Worlds Of Country: So your upcoming song, Long Hugs, can you tell us the story behind that song and how it all came together.
Shari: I’m so excited to finally put this out Me and my friends Mark Chandler and Blue Foley, we co-wrote the song together at the end of twenty nineteen. And of course that was before we all knew the entire world was going to change. I’m a big proponent of making moments and not missing the little things. I’m a big people watcher and my mom always taught me to just take a deep breath and just let the sun hit your face and notice the wildlife and nature. And that’s kind of ingrained in me. And so we started a conversation about just kind of slowing down. A then, of course, literally about hugs and how they’re just so healing and, you know, you can hug quickly and sort of pat someone on the back real fast and or you can, like, just give them that good hug, given that little squeeze. Stay there for just a second. And hugs are just very therapeutic. And they have such power. So we started talking about how that kind of spill into other aspects of life. We’ve all learned, we’ve been forced to learn how to slow down. So and now, given the fact that we haven’t been able to hug each other for so long, I think the timing is perfect for this song to come out as things are starting to open up and hopefully we’re getting in some of those reunion hugs.
Worlds Of Country: Was this a song you always planned to put out or did the circumstances sort of lead to it coming out?
Shari: I’ve always wanted to put it out! The timing, I I thought about putting it out as one of the first ones in the batch of newly recorded, but obviously the timing was not good for that. I guess it could have been sort of cathartic and melancholy because none of us could hug. But we did intentionally decide to kind of hold off until we were all sort of feeling a little bit of the weight lifted and we could see one another again.
Worlds Of Country: So you mentioned more new music. Are there plans for more coming after this?
Shari: Yeah, I mean, we’ve got the rest of the music that we tracked during that time at the end of 19 and 20 and the writing and being so. In the atmosphere, it has been so uncertain this year, so we’re certainly, you know, as so many others not following the normal schedule of things. So we have some things in our pocket that we haven’t released yet. Always new music!
You can check out Shari’s new single, “Long Hugs” right here!